GMAT Exam: Available year-round.

Mandatory gap of 16 days between two attempts. No more than 5 attempts in a span of 12 months.

Maximum Attempts: 8 (lifetime)

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GMAT Exam Information

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) is the most widely used exam for admissions to MBA programmes. The GMAT tests exclusively, the candidates aptitude for management decisions. The exam is conducted by Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and is a reliable indicator of candidates seriousness and capability to pursue a degree in Management studies.

Should I take the GMAT exam?

If you are a candidate interested in admission to a B-School or MBA Programme, the GMAT exam could open the doors to over 5000 programmes offered by 1,900 + schools in 82 countries. The GMAT focuses thoroughly on critical thinking and reasoning skills which are two core skills required during MBA programmes.

Important factors to consider are –

i) Are you applying an MBA programme or a Masters programme in another discipline?

The GMAT is definitely more suited to MBA admissions versus the GRE which is applicable for some MBA admissions but most other graduate programmes as well (eg. J.D., M.S. etc.). In fact most MBA admission decisions (internationally) are made on the basis of GMAT scores.

ii) When do you plan to apply to your B-School(s) of choice?

The GMAT score is applicable for 5 years. This means that if you feel that you currently have more time to devote to preparation, which you may not have later – you can take the exam today and apply with that score for up to a 5 year window. You can of course, retake the exam (upto a lifetime total of 8 times) if your score is not up to the mark.

iii) Do the colleges you are applying to accept GMAT?

Although most MBA courses will accept GMAT, some MBA programmes in India itself have their own entrance exam or only accept CAT scores to maintain uniformity. If you are applying within India, it is best to check up on which exam scores are being accepted.

Further, even for admission to universities abroad – some accept both GRE and GMAT and this is where you can play it to your strength. The GMAT is traditionally more quant-intensive whereas candidates with a better verbal ability skills may perform better in the GRE. Take a look at a few mock papers of each and make your decision accordingly.

GMAT Eligibility

Age Criteria

Test-taker must be at least 18 years old.

If he/she is between 13 and 17 years old, getting permission from a parent or legal guardian is mandatory. It must be provided as written proof of guardian’s consent prior to scheduling the exam

Other Rules

Between 2 GMAT sittings, there must be a gap of 16 days.

In the span of 12 months, maximum times the GMAT can be taken is 5 attempts.

A lifetime total of 8 attempts is the maximum number of GMAT sitting allowed by GMAC.

GMAT Exam Dates

The GMAT exam is available throughout the year at select test centres in 18 states of the country. You should book your test date at least 45-60 days in advance to ensure you get the centre and slot of your choice. This will also give you an adequate window to prepare for the test.

Test-takers should take into consideration college application deadlines depending on whether they are vying for a fall/spring intake. This varies for every university so find out the last date to submit scores and work backwards to decide when to schedule your test.

Two more important points to note:

1] You can only appear for the GMAT up to 5 times in a 12 month period.

2] Each GMAT attempt must be 16 days apart. 

You may use the link below to check available dates at centres close to you by entering a location. Try to be as specific as possible about your location, to ensure that the centres nearest to you show up.

To find test centre and availability, use this link GMAT Test Centre Availability 

Usually a centre will display availability of test dates for a 6-month window. For example, if I’m viewing the availability during October, I will be able to view dates upto April.

List of all the cities in India with 1 or more GMAT centres:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Bangalore
  • Bhopal
  • Bhubaneswar
  • Chennai
  • Cochin
  • Coimbatore
  • Dehradun
  • Gurgaon
  • Guwahati
  • Hyderabad
  • Indore
  • Jaipur
  • Kolkata

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GMAT Exam Registration

Here are the basic steps involved in your GMAT Exam Registration:

1] Create GMAC Account

Candidates will first have to create an account with GMAC on the official website. To do this, follow the link given below.

To create your GMAT Account use this link GMAT Sign-up

2] GMAT Profile Completion

Fill up profile details such as name, DoB and email id, phone number details.

Note that basic details such as name and DoB cannot be changed once verified. Please make sure to enter the correct details.

3] Profile Verification

The candidate will then have to verify their account and details via email id or phone number.

4] Schedule Exam

Post-verification, candidates can now schedule their test centre and date. It is advisable to book your test in advance to ensure you get the centre of your choice. You can do this online or over phone (extra charges may be applicable).

You have to select 3 details for a GMAT test –

  1. Centre
  2. Date
  3. Time-Slot (if multiple are available for the same day)

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GMAT Exam Pattern

GMAT Exam Structure

The GMAT exam is a computer adaptive exam of 3.5 hours duration.

The marks a candidate may score on GMAT range from 200 to 800. 

What does “Computer-Adaptive” mean?

The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections of the GMAT are computer-adaptive. This means that the difficulty of the test adjusts itself in real-time as the candidate answers questions.

The 1st question that candidate receives in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium level difficulty. As he/she answers each question, the computer scores this answer and uses it as well as the responses to all following questions to select the next questions.

Thus, usually if you answer the first question correctly, the system will usually give you a question that is more difficult. If you answer the first question wrong, your next question will be of an easier level.

Note: Some questions are experimental in nature and may appear at random so do not get unnerved if an easy question appears in the middle of a section.

GMAT now gives candidates the option of selecting the order in which they wish to attempt the sections. There are 3 such arrangements as follows:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  2. Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  3. Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

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GMAT Syllabus

GMAT Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section is meant to test the candidates ability to analyse data and reach conclusions using deductive skills. The GMAT QR section evaluates fundamental skills in arithmetic and how well the test-taker can apply reasoning skills to interpret given data.

Typically, the GMAT focuses on two types of MCQs:

  1. Problem solving questions
  2. Data sufficiency questions

The areas to be tested in the QR Section are as follows:

  1. Arithmetic – Basics of arithmetic including integers, fractions, roots powers, statistics and probability
  2. Algebra – Topics such as variables and functions, questions on how to solve different types of equations.
  3. Geometry – the properties of geometric objects including quadrilaterals, triangles, circles, solids, and cylinders, and coordinate geometry
  4. Word Problems – Combining arithmetic, algebraic and geometric principles to solve problems
For more information about Quantitative Reasoning Preparation for GMAT, follow this official link  QR Section Preparation for GMAT

GMAT Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section in the GMAT tests the ability to read and correctly comprehend given text and to reason and analyse arguments. Candidate is expectedly to be able to correct written material to express the intended ideas effectively in English.

This is a 65 minute section with the task of completing 36 multiple-choice questions.

There are three types of questions:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Sentence Correction
For more information about Verbal Reasoning Preparation for GMAT, follow this official link  VA Section Preparation for GMAT

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GMAT Score Reports

#1 – Unofficial Scores immediately after your GMAT

Immediately after you take the GMAT, you will be able to view your Unofficial Score Report. This contains your Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Total Scores. The AWA Section will not be a part of this report.

You will have 2 minutes to accept or cancel this score. If within 2 minutes you do not accept it, it will automatically get cancelled. Hence, it is best to have a pre-determined target score to enable a quick decision.

If you do not immediately cancel your score, but later decide you wish to cancel it – you will have a window of 72 hours after the test to log on to mba.com and cancel your score for a fee of ($25). Similarly, you can reinstate a previously cancelled score for a fee of ($50) within a 4 years and 11 month window. 

What does ‘Cancelling my GMAT’ score mean?

  • Cancelling your score wipes all records of this score.
  • To colleges, this score will not appear at all. It is as though you did not take this test at all.
  • The scores from this GMAT sitting will not be sent to the colleges.

#2 – Official Score Reports

Your Official Score Report will be available to you within 20 days of the exam date. This will contain your sectional scores, analytical writing score, total score and also your GMAT Percentile Ranking, personal data provided at registration, and scores from your previously taken GMAT exams (within the past five years).

GMAT will notify you when your score report is available via email.

This official score report will be made available to the 5 colleges you have selected at the test centre automatically. for free (it is covered by your GMAT Registration Fee).

If you wish to send this report to additional colleges, you can purchase additional score reports at a fee of ($35 per additional report).